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Best and Worst ETFs of Last Week

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Wall Street witnessed declines last week with the S&P 500 posting a weekly loss of about 1.5%. Growing numbers of COVID-19 cases as well as a slew of weak economic data on labor, retail and consumer confidence weighed on investors’ sentiment.

The loss came despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal from president-elect Joe Biden. The plan offers payments of $1,400 to most Americans, increased enhanced federal unemployment benefits by $100 to $400 per week and extension of these through the end of September, and $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, which were excluded from Congress’ latest package. It also seeks to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, provide additional funds to schools and ramp up COVID-19 testing and vaccination.

Given this, we have highlighted the best and worst-performing ETFs of last week:

Best ETFs

Global X Cannabis ETF (POTX - Free Report) – Up 27%

A slew of financing deals and strong earnings reports have added further fuel in the surging pot stocks. These stocks have been on a tear following the Democratic victories in Georgia’s two runoff elections that have spurred hopes for near-term decriminalization and the growing adoption of marijuana in more states (read: Power-packed ETFs for Your Portfolio in 2021).

POTX seeks to invest in companies across the cannabis industry and tracks the Cannabis Index. It holds 18 stocks in its basket, with Canadian firms accounting for 75.3% of assets the United States and Britain take 12.2% and 7.7% share, respectively. The product has accumulated $77.2 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 189,000 shares. Expense ratio comes in at 0.50%.

Elements MLCX Grains Index-Total Return ETN (GRU - Free Report) – Up 16.1%

Grains prices have been on rise last week on reduced global reserves forecast by the USDA due to rising demand from China. Additionally, shrinking supplies from Brazil and Argentina due to dry conditions in some areas added to the strength in corn and soybeans price. GRU is designed to provide investors exposure to an index for the grains sector, which comprises futures contracts on four physical commodities: corn, soybeans, soybean oil and wheat. The product charges 75 bps in annual fees and has accumulated $3.9 million in its asset base. However, it has a Zacks ETF Rank #5 (Strong Sell) with a High risk outlook.

First Trust Nasdaq Oil & Gas ETF (FTXN - Free Report) – Up 9.6%

Energy ETFs like FTXN gained on oil price rally. The government stimulus will buoy global economic growth and oil demand that outweighed concerns that renewed COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns globally could dampen consumption. This fund follows the Nasdaq US Smart Oil & Gas Index, which measures the performance of the most liquid oil and gas securities from the NASDAQ US Benchmark Index screened through volatility, value and growth. It is a basket of 47 stocks and has amassed $21.2 million in its asset base. The product trades in an average daily volume of around 14,000 shares and charges 60 bps in annual fees.
Worst ETFs

ETFMG Prime Junior Silver ETF (SILJ - Free Report) – Down 11.3%

Another wave of lockdown, weak manufacturing and industrial data, and rise in U.S. dollar has pushed the silver price down.  SILJ provides direct exposure to the silver mining exploration and production industry by tracking the Prime Junior Silver Miners & Explorers Index. It holds 50 stocks in its basket with Canadian firms taking the lion’s share at 53.1%, while the United States takes a double-digit 41.3% exposure. The fund has managed assets worth $681.8 million and trades in good volume of nearly 1.4 million shares a day. It charges 69 bps in annual fees (read: 5 ETFs Under $20 Up for Gains in 2021).

Invesco Solar ETF (TAN - Free Report) – Down 10.3%

Solar ETF saw plunge on profit-taking activity. It offers global exposure to the solar industry by tracking the MAC Global Solar Energy Index, holding 37 stocks in the basket. U.S. firms dominate the fund’s portfolio with nearly 48% share, followed by China (22.8%) and Spain (7.6%). The product has amassed $4.7 billion in its asset base and trades in a solid volume of around 2 million shares a day. It charges investors 69 bps in fees per year and has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook (read: Top Performing ETF Areas of 2020).

VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ - Free Report) – Down 8%

Gold saw modest loss last week on the strength in the U.S. dollar. GDXJ focuses on small-cap companies that are involved primarily in the mining for gold and/or silver by tracking the MVIS Global Junior Gold Miners Index. Holding 91 stocks in its basket, Canadian firms dominate the fund’s portfolio at 45.1%, while Australia (21.2%) and South Africa (7.1%) round out the top three. The product has AUM of $6 billion and charges 53 bps in annual fees. It trades in heavy volume of around 7.2 million shares a day on average (read: Gold Sees Best Year in a Decade: ETFs & Stocks to Shine).

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